Pontifical Academy of Martyrs

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The Pontifical Academy of Martyrs (Pontificia Academia Cultorum Martyrum, originally Collegium Cultorum Martyrum) is one of the ten Pontifical Academies established by the Holy See. It serves to advance the cult of saints and martyrs and the study of related early Christian history, [1] including the catacombs. It operates with guidance and support from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Roman Curia.

Contents

History

The Academy was established on 2 February 1879 by four distinguished scholars of sacred antiquity – Mariano Armellini, Adolfo Hytreck, Orazio Marucchi, and Enrico Stevenson – and the Papal Academy, in conjunction with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. [2]

Functions

The Academy is tasked with promoting the cult of the holy martyrs and increasing, through study, knowledge of the saints, including their example as "witnesses of the Faith".

It is also responsible for the monuments to these saints from the first centuries of Christianity, including the catacombs beneath Rome. The Academy organises and promotes celebrations of ancient Christian cemeteries, the catacombs, and other sacred places, as well as religious functions and archaeological conferences. To this end it works closely with the Pontifical Academy of Archaeology.

The Academy holds at least two general meetings each year, close to the Papal Institute of Christian Archaeology and the Collegio Teutonico in The Vatican.

The Papal Academy "Cultorum Martyrum" supports also, during Lent, the unwinding of the ritual stand in honour of Carlo Respighi, Magister from 1931 until 1947.

Membership and leadership

The Academy consists of "Sodales" and "Associates" of both sexes. At the age of 80 a Sodales becomes an "Emeritus". Cardinal or Bishop Sodales are appointed "Defences".

The title of the Academy's administrator is "Magister", an office appointed (and renewed) by the Pope. The Magister, in accordance with the Academy's "Guiding Advice", can collaborate with other Pontifical Academies which have business related to a particular martyr's sanctuary. Its current "Magister" is Fabrizio Bisconti. [3]

See also

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